Language Analysis

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This opinion piece was written to the parents of a local sporting club in response to poor behaviour of spectators. An added concern was the difficulty of attracting volunteers to the club. The article, ‘A word from our coach’ was written by Coach Sam in the Local Sports Club, ‘Club News’, newsletter. Sam contends that some parents are behaving so badly at children’s matches that it is adversely affecting the club.

The author has both a professional and personal involvement in this issue. As a coach he must deal with all the facets that poor behaviour by parents towards children’s sporting commitments. This includes witnessing parents verbally abusing their children, the other teammates and all adults involved in the club. As a sportsman who is passionate about netball Sam is disgusted and shocked by how some parents lack sportsmanship. While the tone of this article is critical and contemptuous, Sam utilises a reasoned and logical approach to structuring his argument. The style is formal and accessible to the parent readers and he hopes to gain their support in being more sportsmen like.

The reader is initially drawn to the article with the inclusive and neutrally phrased headline. ‘Our coach’ positions the reader to know that they are reading something that is relevant to them and by a familiar person. The use of ‘A word’ acts as a safe and interesting persuasive strategy to make the reader peacefully begin to read the article. The attached cartoon by Jeff Parker, demonstrates the use of humour in the pun associated with an ass acting poorly at a children’s sports match. He is wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘DEFEAT IS DEATH’ to explain his aggressive attitude towards winning in sport. The expressions on the faces in the crowd are shocked and angered. The referee is showing annoyance at the verbal abuse by the parent and the face of the player shows embarrassment and horror. Another parent in the crowd is stating that he wishes “these sports-aggressive...
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